Credit cards & corruption

Just back from the exercise walk today on a lovely morning.

When I arrived on the south side of the Rio Bravo these many years ago, I came with two credit cards, one from Wells Fargo, the other from a bank I now forget. I used the latter in 2003 to make monthly payments automatically for a Sky TV service. Sky almost immediately started to hose me, overcharging the card.

Oddly, the bank would not let me block future charges, so I had to cancel the card, leaving me with just one, the Wells Fargo. A year or two later, when I received a renewal card in the mail from up north, the fraud department wanted me to jump through so many hoops to activate it that I canceled it too. So, no credit card.

I started using a debit card online, which is a dreadful idea. I had two banks at that point, a Mexican account at Banamex, and a U.S. account at Banamex USA in Los Angeles. I finally obtained a Visa card from the Banamex account. It had a very low limit, the peso equivalent of about $150 U.S, so rule out a European splurge.

It was the same sort of starter card they offer campesinos.

My credit card history above the border was stellar, but credit history does not travel across the Rio Bravo. Down here, you start from scratch. Mexico has a credit bureau.

In 2014, due to the nincompoop FATCA legislation from the Obama Administration, Banamex USA closed my account with little warning, leaving me just the Mexican bank account with its almost useless credit card.

I was mad at Banamex in general, so I opened another Mexican account at HSBC only to learn it would not give me a credit card, in part due to my age. You read that right. HSBC is a nightmare bank. Avoid it. And I had canceled the Banamex account.

I then opened an account at BBVA Bancomer to have a fallback. After a wait of about three months, they gave me a Visa credit card with a free additional with my wife’s name on it. I have since requested a second one which also came with a free spouse card, plus the two have digital cards connected. So, all told, I have six Mexican credit cards.

BBVA Bancomer is an excellent bank. It has dropped the Bancomer name, and is just BBVA now. I have also tried out and found wanting accounts at Banco Santander and Banco Azteca. I investigated opening an account once at Banorte, but the woman with whom I was dealing briefly was so surly, I decided against it.

And I dumped the HSBC account. BBVA now serves all my needs nicely.

I have the BBVA app on my Motorola cell, and I check it daily. On two or three occasions, I found fraudulent charges. Since the cards never leave home, I wonder how that’s done. I suspect it’s bank employees. No matter, a phone call to the bank gets the matter resolved, the card in question cancelled, and a replacement rapidly arrives at my door.

Fraudulent charges, quite a lot, appeared on one of my cards just last week. Someone was having a field day purchasing goodies from Mercado Libre. A replacement card is en route. I’m a big fan of BBVA even though I do think it’s bank employees who occasionally buy stuff with my card. Let’s just call them bad apples.

From what I see on internet forums, lots, probably most, Gringos who move to Mexico live here for years without Mexican bank accounts and without Mexican credit cards, relying totally on their accounts up north. This often gets them into binds.

If you’re gonna live in Mexico, you need a Mexican bank and credit cards.


Now let’s turn to politics, always fun.

Have you heard about last week’s revelations in the New York Post that Hunter Biden, in cahoots with his creepy dad, aka The Big Guy, were selling access to the White House when Sleepy Joe was vice president?

Have you read about Facebook and Twitter censoring mentions of the scandal? And how that censoring is blowing up in their partisan faces? If you know little or nothing about these things, that means you get your “news” from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, the Houston Chronicle and others of their ilk in the mainstream media.

All for now, amigos. Vote for Trump.

One sharp Indian

A couple of days back, I posted a reaction to the presidential debate which noted how different it was from previous debates, specifically the polite one between Jack Kennedy and Tricky Dick Nixon in 1960.

I posed the questions: What is happening with the world? Where is decorum? Where is civilization? In this brief video. Dinesh D’Souza nails the basic reason. The political parties once agreed on goals while disagreeing on how to attain them. That agreement on goals has vanished, taking civility along with it.

Barreling downhill

Debate done right in the Olden Days.

I did not see the presidential debate Tuesday night. Wednesday, however, I decided to watch it on YouTube. After about 10 minutes, I turned it off. It was just three guys talking over each other endlessly, making little sense. It was annoying. I probably would have continued had I not known the entire debate would continue in the same vein.

What is happening with the world? Where is decorum? Where is civilization? Where did it all go so completely wrong? We holler at one another. We curse one another. No one is allowed to have a different opinion. We firebomb businesses over stupidities.

Skim through the debate between Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon, sensibly just one hour, not one-and-a-half to two. Then remember what happened on Tuesday night. The contrast is extreme. And the moderator for Kennedy-Nixon’s match in no way indicated his personal political leanings. He moderated.

A couple of years ago, I watched the presidential debates we held here in Mexico. They were far less unruly. And they are Latinos! Known for emotion.

I restate my long-held preference for enlightened monarchies.

Silly Washington Post

I scan the websites of The Washington Post, The New York Times and their ilk on occasion just to see how ridiculous it has become, and it’s become pretty ridiculous.

The Post has, not surprisingly, endorsed Sleepy Joe. I glanced down the long editorial in which they sing his praises while simultaneously dissing President Trump. According to The Post, Sleepy Joe is “exceptionally well-qualified by character and experience.”

(Pause for tear-inducing hilarity.)

The Post also says Sleepy Joe “would restore decency, honor and competence to America’s government.” Joe is “deeply empathetic.” The corrupt newspaper then mentions the completely debunked claim that President Trump referred to wounded and fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers.” Never happened.

Tip: To pull off a lie, make it at least remotely plausible.

And get this: Sleepy Joe chose as his running mate Round-Heels Harris, the woman who “almost everyone agreed was the most qualified.” You might recall that Harris dropped out of the primaries early on because pretty much no one wanted her.

Tulsi Gabbard ripped her a new one during a debate. Fun to watch.

The Post then — hilarity alert! — claimed Trump has “few accomplishments in his first term and no agenda for his second.” I imagine the editorial writer gets all his news from The Washington Post, not from the wider world.

President Trump has been nominated not once, not twice, but three times so far for the Nobel Peace Prize. Here’s a brief video in which an Australian law professor points to a number of the great works done by the Trump Administration, none of which, I am sure, were reported by the corrupt, mainstream, U.S. media.